The past year has, with all the telecommuting, distance learning and time spent at home, turned the everyday lives of many people upside down. This encourages us to reconsider what we want from our everyday lives and from life in general. Recent years have been characterised by the digitalisation of services and products, global threats, and the increasingly pressing need to find solutions to address climate change and overconsumption. It is the eleventh hour for us to think about how the activities of individuals, companies, and society at large must change, so that we can live as sustainably as possible. For example, responsibility, sustainability and community feature prominently in the values of more and more people. The past year offers an opportunity for us to stop and let our imaginations run free: how do we want to live in the future? What is sustainable and meaningful living like? How do we live in harmony with the surrounding community?
“The Habitare theme emphasises rethinking our everyday lives and work. Throughout the ages, challenging times, scarcity, and limited resources have shaped the use of human imagination and fed it, too. Challenges also bring about something new, because we are forced to rethink familiar environments and familiar ways. We hope that the Habitare theme of ‘Reimagine’ will open up discussion and reflection on the new things that we may have already created, and the things to expect. How should we change our actions – whether related to home, work or our everyday lives – so that we can guarantee better living conditions for future generations? As consumers, we have all had to reassess our consumption habits. Many industries are being forced to change their practices, and some are even struggling for their existence. From all this, this painful period in time, many inspirational ideas will emerge, and we hope to see them at Habitare next year”, says the creative director of Habitare, Laura Sarvilinna.
The Habitare event will provide a platform for this imagining in the autumn of 2021, when the theme of ‘Reimagine’ will be featured in the programme and at the stands of the exhibitors. The programme will raise many questions about inclusion in society while living and working at home, so that we retain our energy and sense of security in a changing world. What kinds of spaces do we need in a time when people increasingly work from home, and when there may be a nuclear family, friends, or a commune of several families living under the same roof? How do spaces support our physical needs and emotions? In these challenging times, one of the most important questions is still: how do different spaces produce happiness and joy?
Ilkka Suppanen to resume as the exhibition designer, and Joseph Grima as the International Friend of Habitare
Habitare’s exhibition design will be conceived by the designer Ilkka Suppanen, who is known for his light and forward-looking, classic Scandinavian style. Suppanen is the winner of the 2020 Kaj Franck Design Prize.
The exhibition design, entitled Siltatyömaa (‘Bridge Works’), which was conceived for the 2020 Habitare and which will be seen at the autumn 2021 event, will be built from wood with sustainable development in mind. The underlying idea is that the exhibition structures could be used for as long as possible.
“The exhibition design has been inspired by the bridge construction sites that you see especially in the summer, with beautiful and light wooden structures. They have great structural beauty to them. Light shines through the roof of a bridge construction structure in a special way, creating strips of light and shadow among the people. In the Nordic countries, architecture is often strict in form and full of straight lines, but light and shadow add a more playful element, creating a fun combination”, says Ilkka Suppanen about the idea behind the exhibition design.
The International Friend of Habitare in 2021 will be Joseph Grima, a British architect who has enjoyed a diverse career and has an extensive background in exhibition curation, research and writing. “I’m happy to be the International Friend of Habitare and part of a network that connects and inspires the international community of designers and visitors. I have been fortunate to visit Finland several times over the years. Finland is a very beautiful country, which is strongly reflected in the nation’s design history”, says Joseph Grima.